Success At The Field Trials!

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After coming out of the mountains from Blue Grouse hunting, we hit a few field trials in Colorado & Kansas. Kate from Missouri, ran her first puppy stake in Colorado and got a 1st place. Kate will be running another puppy stake this weekend in IL.

DJ (Dudley’s son) had a great learning experience at his first puppy stake. He ran his first stake in Colorado and was surprised by all the extra people out in the field. He did very well and got 2nd place. His next puppy trial was in Kansas at the Oklahoma trial. His run there was crazy as the trial was on pigeons and they do the craziest things and then the gunners couldn’t shoot at times. Considering all of that DJ kept his head and got first place out of 9 puppies. We are very proud of DJ.

Dudley is on fire! Dudley got 2nd place at the Rocky Mountain trial, 1st place at the Northern Colorado trial, and 2nd at the Central Kansas trial. The season is not over yet! Keep an eye out for the father and son team.

 

Scott & Dibbs 1st Place In Colorado

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A special congratulations to Scott and Dibbs for winning first place in the All-Age Amateur stake at the Northern Colorado Field Trial. The weekend was a huge success as on Friday, he finished the first field trial he has ever entered and won the Gunner’s Award for his performance with Dibbs. Two days later, a little calmer but still shaking, he and Dibbs put together three series they were fortunate enough to impress the judges with. This is quite an achievement for a handler in his second trial and a dog in only its third All-Age field trial. The two have a long way to go to be comfortable, but they are off to a great start! Congratulations Scott and Dibbs and a special thank you to all the Colorado field trial clubs for the warm welcome, hospitality and support over the 10 days.

 

 

Allie’s Alpine Adventure

Believe it or not, places like Grouse Creek and Ptarmigan Lake aren’t always as productive as their names imply. Additionally “They’re everywhere” and “I always see them up there” are officially my two least favorite phrases spoken by non-hunters.

Though it’s never a bad idea to prey on local knowledge in hopes of finding a honey hole, the fact is, most non-hunters have no idea where to find game. Yes, they may stumble upon a grouse or two here and there on their morning hike, or spot a few resident greenheads dabbling around in the cattle dugout they always drive by on their way to work, but rarely do they ACTUALLY know where to find what you’re looking for, i.e. the massive coveys that shake the earth when they erupt or the oxbow lakes that hold enough ducks to black out the sky.

After hiking around ten thousand vertical feet this past week, I feel I have finally learned this lesson. While local knowledge can sometimes be helpful, there’s nothing that puts birds in the bag like boot-leather and good ole fashion location scouting.

Here are some photos from this week:

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(Allie with her first Blue grouse)

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(A nice days limit of blues)

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(Allie in what the locals promised was Ptarmigan Country)

 

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(Allie and I in a place we heard the Ptarmigan “littered the ground” – no such luck)

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(Allie is a lot more excited to run down this 3,000 ft avalanche shoot than I am)

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(Allie in the frozen tundra that actually holds birds)

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(More of above)

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(At the cost of an e-collar remote, half a box of shells, and Allie’s pads, we finally found some!)

Though we wasted a lot of time chasing “tips” from non-hunters, at least we got to do it in the high country. Sure beats the sage plains!

-John

 

 

 

 

Fun In The Mountains

Today was a another fun day chasing birds in the mountains. For those of you that know Todd when he see’s a place that looks like it has birds he is going. Well, this dirt road we took soon turned into big wet puddles with big rocks all over the place. He finally decided to stop and just take dogs out to see if there were any birds. After a few runs with different dogs, Todd said we had better get out of there because clouds were rolling in. We made our way down the same bad road and soon the snow started to fly. Todd said good thing we decided to get out. It was going to be a 2 hour ride back out to camp.

During our drive down we came across the sheep herders and owner of all those sheep. We had a really nice chat and moved along. This was a different batch from the other day, I believe the owner said there were 1000 sheep in this herd.

The storm clouds were following us all the way out, but I had to stop to take photos at the Deep Creek overlook before we left the park. We didn’t hit anymore snow but did get rain down at the bottom.

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First Grouse!

Rennie was the first dog to get a grouse today. When Rennie went in for the one bird 10 more flushed. It was another great day at the office.

 

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Just Another Day At The Office!

We arrived this morning at the flat tops to start our hunting. We were at 10,000 feet most of the day.

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Todd coming back with Dibbs, Rennie and Dudley. The boys are heeling so nice.

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Todd coming back with DJ and Kate at heel.

 

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This is what I was doing while Todd was working Kate and DJ.

 

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Lunch time with the puppies! Where did you have lunch today? I bet our lunch was a lot more fun than yours.

 

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Kermit having some fun with Todd during lunch.

 

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The view from my chair at lunch time.

 

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At the end of the day we came across a herd of sheep that were moving their way down the mountain. Following them were at least 3 working dogs that we could see. As I moved closer to the sheep to take photos the working dogs moved closer to me. They stayed near the sheep but had a eye on me and Todd the whole time. This was really awesome! A great way to end the day…

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So that’s what we did today.

Setting Up At Camp In Colorado

We finally rolled into camp in Colorado late this afternoon. It was a long trip and all of the dogs are happy to be out of the truck and stretching those legs. Here are a few photos of what we look at while at camp.

 

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Alan & Kermit Go Sharp-tail Hunting In ND

Notes from Alan!

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Kermit and I had a wonderful day of Sharp-tailed Grouse hunting today in ND. After 2 weekends of Field Trials and being on the road for nearly two weeks, this was a great reward for our hard work. It was a pleasure to see Kermit in his true element of hunting and not having to worry so much about the trial rules and regulations. We did very well and I did not even have my own gun. It was a side by side though, Todd and Christina!

 

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It’s that time of the year again!

Rich With His New Dog DJ

A very special fun weekend at Craney Hill. Rich was able to handle his new dog DJ in the field and also do obedience drills with the help of Todd this weekend. Rich and Sarah drove all the way out from Boston to have some fun at Craney Hill and to enjoy their new dog.

DJ still has more training to do here at Craney Hill, so I’m sure the ride home to Boston will be long for Rich as he will be missing his dog.  There are some big plans for this team so keep an eye out on our news page.

Congratulations Rich!

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